Practicing Thinking in Activity with the Help of Hands-on Guidance from Teacher
One important feature of lessons is “hands-on work”, which refers to the teacher’s skillful guidance of the pupil with the hands in different activities. The hands-on guidance serves several functions. The teacher’s hands
sense the pupil’s patterns of muscular activity in activity,
give sensory feedback to the pupil to enable understanding and inhibiting undesirable habit patterns,
inform a pupil’s total pattern of coordination by subtly suggesting a new organization of motor activity, and
guide a pupil in simple activities in a lesson, such as standing up from a chair.
In addition to the use of the hands, the teacher is keeping close watch for different clues, such as the eyes showing strain or overfocus, and holding the breath, to form a picture of the pupil’s pattern of coordination. On the basis of all of this information, and on the basis of his or her understanding of the pupil’s total pattern, the teacher decides an appropriate activity to most effectively address and inform the pupil’s understanding and coordination at that moment.
Clearly, in a group setting, the ability of the teacher to individually address pupils is considerably reduced, and this is why group teaching is not ideal in the Alexander technique.